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Teasing NFL Favorites

Football Betting: Teasing NFL Favorites

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper,

We usually hear that we should avoid teasers and parlays. The way to win, or so we’ve been told, is to plug away making straight bets. Parlays and teasers require you to pick multiple winners on the same ticket and it’s hard enough making straight bets. And for the most part, it’s true. Straight bets on sides on totals are the way to go for the most part.

But there are some cases where a teaser is a solid play. A well-timed two-team teaser can be a play where you have an edge. First of all, it is not the hail-mary that cause most pros to tell you to avoid teasers or parlays. A two-team NFL teaser is a pretty safe play. You’re betting two teams and getting at least a 6-point break on the point-spread. The payout of 10-11 illustrates how it’s not a particularly outrageous bet.

When you take two favorites and are able to tease them 6-7 points, that can be a real weapon. You can take a favorite and tease it past some key numbers to the point where you are even getting points makes winning a lot easier. Say for example you are taking a pair of 8-point favorites. Teasing them 6 points brings it down -2, which allowed you pass some key numbers, namely 7 and 3.

Let’s say you have two underdogs that you like. One is +4 and one is +5. You tease it 6.5 points and now you have +10.5 and +11.5. Again, you conquered some key numbers. A lot of games end with margins of 3, 7, and 10 points. You get off those numbers with the 6-7-point teaser. You’re taking mild underdogs and making it so you’re getting double-digit points. Sure, the payout isn’t great, but you have to pay for the privilege.

Over the past decade-and-a-half, the results speak loudly. 3-point favorites teased down to +3.5 win 75% of the time. In addition, underdogs at +4 or +5 teased to +10 or +11 win 75% of the time. A big reason why those come through at such an alarming rate is that 50% of the time (theoretically) the team you tease will just go ahead and beat the normal spread. But when you tease it 6-7 points and crush some key numbers along the way, now it’s a positive expectation to win.

Forget about all that nonsense about teasing through zero. Like if you take a +2.5 favorite and tease it to +3.5, you are teasing through zero. Since zero is almost never a margin, the thought is that teasing through zero is tantamount to relinquishing a full point. Fair enough. But does that alone make teasing through zero on occasion a bad play? Absolutely not.

Notice how the limits on teasers are much lower than parlays or straight bets. That tells you one thing--the book is looking to control how much damage they incur through teasers. And you’ll find that during the playoffs, the limits go down even more. Those playoff lines are tough. In other words, they’re hard to exploit. Plucking two teams off the playoff schedule and teasing them 6-7 points is not something the book wants to overly-entertain. Since we’re trying to do what the book doesn’t want us to do, maybe we’re on to something with these two-team teasers.

A good move is when deciding to bet the conference championship games, you take the two teams you like and play a two-team teaser. Again, with two games on the schedule, the books have put everything into making those lines as tough as possible. Teasing them and blowing up those spreads in your favor is a weapon that will have the books worried. That’s what we’re looking to do. It allows you to isolate two games and drastically turn the point-spread drastically in your favor. And again, as NFL football bettors, we’re looking to consistently act in a fashion that is contrary to how the sportsbooks want us to act.

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